Generally speaking, as long as you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, and your doctor agrees, you can travel. However, whether you are planning a romantic and relaxing babymoon or an important work trip, you need to prioritise your safety and comfort during the journey. Here are some useful ideas to ensure you and your pregnant belly enjoy the trip.
Choose your Destination Carefully
When you are pregnant, UK and Europe are ideal destinations, because they do not require lots of travelling, and you can find a great destination closer to home. Long haul flights can take their toll during pregnancy, so go for places you can reach with flights lasting no more than three hours. Also, it will be better if there isn’t a long transfer from the airport.
A great idea is to plan a couple of overnight stays to break up the trip. You would be able to relax and enjoy your vacation knowing that there are some good medical facilities and places to eat nearby. So, do your research properly on your destination before setting off.
Talk With Your Healthcare Provider
Your doctor or midwife can let you know if there are any medical concerns you need to be aware of. Therefore, ensure that your OB-GYN travel nurse is okay with you travelling, especially if you are having a complicated or high-risk pregnancy. Travelling during pregnancy is best between the 20 to 28 weeks mark. In addition, your destination could affect your travel plans, because certain vaccines are not safe for the growing baby in pregnancy.
Therefore, your doctor can help find out if where you are going is suitable for you. Areas where there is a risk of catching mosquito-borne disease such as malaria and zika or dengue should be completely avoided. However, if you end up choosing a risky area, he or she can advise on the necessary precautions and vaccinations that are safe while pregnant.
Travel with a Copy of Your Prenatal Records
It doesn’t matter where you go, ensure there is always a copy of your prenatal records and medical notes with you, especially if you are in your second or third trimester. If for any reason, you need to be treated by a local doctor while abroad, your records will be helpful as a point of reference to understand your overall state of health and pregnancy.
Therefore, it is important to know the location of the nearest hospital and medical facility. Also, if you have health insurance, keep your proof of insurance with you at all times. In addition, take along sufficient supply of prenatal vitamins, prescription medications or over-the-counter medicines you may need for the period of the trip.
Generally, medical expenses incurred abroad results in hefty payments you will have to make yourself. Also, before returning home, remember to collect all copies of health care receipts if you receive foreign medical care. If you are being extra cautious, you can purchase travel insurance policies to cover all of the necessary medical expenses while abroad.
Take It Easy
Even if you are itching to make the most out of this trip, it is important to remember to take it easy. Activities such as snowboarding, water-skiing, horse riding, climbing and windsurfing and any other activities that put you at the risk of falling should be avoided. Other activities you’ll need to avoid in pregnancy include scuba diving and any kind of pressurised spots, because air bubbles can form in your blood stream and get transferred to your baby.
If you are travelling with a toddler, you can spend some time at the amusement park, but avoid fast rides, waterslides and any activities involving forceful landings and sudden stops.
As long as it is not too hot, a hydrotherapy pool or warm bath is fine. However, hot tubs and saunas should be avoided as overheating in pregnancy can be dangerous. When it comes to fun activities on a trip while pregnant, it is necessary to scale back on certain activities and practice a little bit of restraint.
Stay Hydrated and Carry Healthy Snacks
It is essential to drink a lot of water while pregnant, especially during travel. The American Pregnancy Association recommends that pregnant women should drink up to 12 glasses of water each day to ensure that their breast milk production is on track and amniotic fluid is renewed. Therefore, eat the right snacks and wash them down with water often.
When choosing snacks, go for healthy foods that make up your regular diet. Leave off salty foods that contribute to fluid retention, making your swelling worse. Examples of health snack choices for pregnant women during trips include whole grain granola bars, small raisin boxes and pre-cut carrots.
Take Breaks Often
Growing a baby takes a lot of hard work and it is natural to feel more tired than usual. Your holiday is the best time to catch up on some sleep. When you feel you need rest, don’t be embarrassed, just lay your head somewhere and rest. You are not missing out by resting whenever you feel the urge. That’s what your time out is about anyway, and you will have more energy to enjoy the time you spend exploring at your new destination.
During pregnancy, it is important to put your feet up. So, after a day of shopping and sightseeing, remember to sit and put up your feet in order to combat swelling. You’ll also need to visit the toilet more than usual. If you are worried about using public restrooms, pack some antibacterial hand and body wipes to ensure good hygiene. This makes sense because your immune system is weaker during pregnancy, making you more susceptible to sickness.
As an expectant mother, it is important to know the ins and outs of travelling safely and comfortably. Whether you are travelling by air, road, train or sea, keep these points as guidelines so that you can thoroughly enjoy your trip and create wonderful memories which you’ll share in future with your little one.